If you are looking for a base in Switzerland to be able to enjoy the Alpine scenery and activities, the small town of Interlaken might be ideal. It occupies a valley between two lakes and the whole area is surrounded by mountains. This is certainly the adventure capital of Switzerland if not all of Europe. In summer you have trekking, rafting, and bungee jumping among your options, and in winter there is great skiing and snowboarding nearby.
For the best Alpine views and experiences you are even better off being based in Gimmelwald, Murren, or Lauterbrunnen for at least part of your stay. These villages are all very near by and easy to reach in a short time once you get to Interlaken. Gimmelwald is tiny, car-free, and one of the most charming places on earth.
Hotel and hostel prices in Interlaken are at least a bit lower than those in the big cities in Switzerland, but they are still quite high by even normal European standards. This isn’t an area that budget travelers can just come to and linger in without bleeding their savings dry. Read more about why you should visit Interlaken or Lucerne for the best Alpine experiences.
One important thing to know about is that all accommodation in the area includes a resort tax for each guest, but that entitles you to a personalized Interlaken Guest Card, which is good for free public transportation and discounts on most of the top attractions. So while bed prices might seem steep, at least you get something in return.
Food and drink prices are also typically high as elsewhere in Switzerland. Budget travelers might want to self cater at least one meal a day, and there are a couple cheap supermarkets to help with that. As with everywhere in Switzerland, a sit-down meal starts at around US$20. Alcohol is expensive in restaurants and bars, but not so bad in supermarkets.